Tag Archives: senior

Universal sets screenwriters loose on Twitter – helped Ted to gross near $200 million

The teddy bear’s first tweet, from an account called @WhatTedSaid set up by the Universal Pictures marketing department, was “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go f— yourself.”

The author of the greeting was Alec Sulkin, co-screenwriter of the R-rated comedy “Ted,” who together with his collaborator Wellesley Wild was paid extra by the studio to build buzz on social media ahead of the film’s June 29 release. Who better to embody the random musings of a foul-mouthed stuffed animal than the writers of the script? The suits left them alone.

“The parameters were, ‘Just go to town,’ ” says Doug Neil, Universal’s senior vice president of digital marketing. The tweeting started March 30, two days before the “red band” (uncensored) trailer appeared online, depicting the namesake bear smoking weed, cuddling with co-star Mark Wahlberg and pantomiming suggestive acts for a supermarket checkout girl.

It worked spectacularly. Tracking polls, which movie executives rely on to guide box office expectations, suggested an opening-weekend gross of $35 million to $40 million for the film, which was co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” who also provided the voice for Ted. Instead, “Ted” generated $54 million, catching the industry by surprise.

 

More on this: The Wall Street Journal - Twitter Goes to the Movies

 

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Astronomers discover black hole with 140 trillion times more water than Earth

Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.

“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”

A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that steadily consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. As it eats, the quasar spews out huge amounts of energy. Both groups of astronomers studied a particular quasar called APM 08279+5255, which harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much energy as a thousand trillion suns.

Astronomers expected water vapor to be present even in the early, distant universe, but had not detected it this far away before. There’s water vapor in the Milky Way, although the total amount is 4,000 times less than in the quasar, because most of the Milky Way’s water is frozen in ice.

 

And, the instruments they used:

Bradford’s team made their observations starting in 2008, using an instrument called “Z-Spec” at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory, a 33-foot (10-meter) telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were made with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), an array of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of Southern California.

The second group, led by Dariusz Lis, senior research associate in physics at Caltech and deputy director of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in the French Alps to find water.

 

Source: NASA - Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water

 

 

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Cell phones for Senior Citizens

I love the idea of customizing cell phones for seniors. It is so annoying that they are often the target of over-priced landlines and other monthly service fees.

Here are some cell phones made specifically for seniors: big buttons, big displays, and not-so-fragile.

 

 

 

Read the full articleThe 5 Best Cell Phones For Senior Citizens

Super athlete – box jumping – standing leap onto 62″ inch tall box

We’ve been awed all week at the history-making US Bobsled team. The bobsled and skeleton athletes from the USA have won medals so far in every event – including the first-ever gold medal in the men’s 2-man won by Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton.

Maybe you at home are sitting there thinking “Hey, that doesn’t look too bad, maybe I could make the team. I’d just have to push a little and enjoy the ride.” Well, before you start making room for your Olympic medals, check out this video of star brakeman ‘Super’ Steve Langton training on the box jump.

Langton is regarded by every athlete we’ve spoken to as nearly superman in his natural ability. Langton is a 6’2″, 230lbs sprinting machine. Like many bobsled athletes, he’s a former track athlete. He’s the champion in the inaugural Push Start World Championships. And he can leap onto a 62″ box from a standing start – that’s over 5 feet.

via Daily House

 

Then, there’s senior cornerback, Justin Bethel, from Presbyterian College, who at 6-feet jumps on these boxes at roughly 60 inches off the ground:
 

Apple, Amazon, & Microsoft build data centers around dirty energy

The current explosion in cloud computing offered by major IT companies is driving significant new demand for dirty energy like coal and nuclear power, according to a new report from Greenpeace International.

The report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?” shows a growing split within the tech industry between companies that are taking steps to power their clouds with clean energy, like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, and companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft who lag behind by choosing to build their growing fleets of data centres to be powered by coal and nuclear energy.

“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst. “Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are building data centres powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won’t care.”

The report research found that if the cloud were a country its electricity demand would currently rank 5th in the world, and is expected to triple by 2020.

“While many IT companies have made great strides in efficiency, that’s only half the picture – they need to make sure their energy comes from clean sources,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst.

Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritising renewable energy access when siting their data centres, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers.

 

keep readingApple, Amazon, & Microsoft choose dirty energy

Gas prices have peaked – $3.70+ is the new normal

This year’s surge in gasoline prices appears over, falling short of the record highs some had feared heading into peak summer driving season.

Prices have held at a national average of $3.92 a gallon the past week, below 2011′s $3.99 high and July 2008′s record $4.11.

“By the behavior of the market, things are just running out of steam,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com. “Barring any major event — refinery problems, Iran — I think prices have peaked.”

DeHaan said the national average could dip to $3.70 a gallon by early May.

via USA Today

 

High in national average each year.

"It's never too late to improve our health. There's a lot you can do"

“Take a proactive approach to active aging,” she recommended, noting there are simple preventive ways to slow down the progression of chronic health conditions, which in turn will allow people to lead more independent lives and lean less on informal caregivers.

I found a great article on aging called, The self-reliant senior. Among the many points it covers the most important are that depression is a rising problem for those that are aging, and 80% have a chronic health issue.

This is definitely a part of the aging process but there are things that can be done. Quality of life improvements that help not only the parent but the child/caregiver.

Here they are from the We Care – Get Going group of Canada:

Some of the simple things Canadians can do, the booklet points out, include:

  • Get eating. As we age, our bodies change and so should our nutrition. Eat wisely. Plan and prepare healthy meals.
  • Get active. Walking, stretching and keeping your muscles in good condition can help you maintain your independence.
  • Get involved. Give back to the community by volunteering -it’s good for you, those you help, and the community around you.
  • Get happy. Depression and loneliness can be triggered by the death of a partner or close friend, physical illnesses and operations, and even certain medications. That’s why staying socially connected is so important to healthy, active aging.
photo by Jon Rawlinson

“It’s never too late to improve our health. There’s a lot you can do”

“Take a proactive approach to active aging,” she recommended, noting there are simple preventive ways to slow down the progression of chronic health conditions, which in turn will allow people to lead more independent lives and lean less on informal caregivers.

I found a great article on aging called, The self-reliant senior. Among the many points it covers the most important are that depression is a rising problem for those that are aging, and 80% have a chronic health issue.

This is definitely a part of the aging process but there are things that can be done. Quality of life improvements that help not only the parent but the child/caregiver.

Here they are from the We Care – Get Going group of Canada:

Some of the simple things Canadians can do, the booklet points out, include:

  • Get eating. As we age, our bodies change and so should our nutrition. Eat wisely. Plan and prepare healthy meals.
  • Get active. Walking, stretching and keeping your muscles in good condition can help you maintain your independence.
  • Get involved. Give back to the community by volunteering -it’s good for you, those you help, and the community around you.
  • Get happy. Depression and loneliness can be triggered by the death of a partner or close friend, physical illnesses and operations, and even certain medications. That’s why staying socially connected is so important to healthy, active aging.
photo by Jon Rawlinson